Lyman Spitzer (1914-1997), an American astrophysicist, made contributions to the development of the foundations of plasma physics in the 1950s. Spitzer made the initial calculations for characteristics of ionized gases, toroidal containment, ohmic heating, and the diffusion losses of confined plasma. He later convinced the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to try to contain and harness the nuclear combustion of hydrogen at temperatures found in the Sun as a means of generating electricity. Spitzer was the founding Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He also made major contributions to stellar dynamics and space astronomy. Spitzer was the first person to propose the idea of placing a large telescope in space and was the driving force behind the development of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990.